Auction 154, Lot 782

"[4 Volumes] Travels in the Interior of North America Volumes I-IV (Atlas)", Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied

Subject: Exploration and Surveys

Period: 1905-06 (published)


Color: Printed Color

15.6 x 20.8 inches
39.6 x 52.8 cm

Karl Bodmer, (1809-1893), is among the most important 19th-century artists of the American West and Native Americans. Bodmer accompanied the German prince, Maximilian of Wied, on an expedition up the Missouri River in 1832. With Bodmer in charge of the pictorial documentary, Prince Maximilian, an experienced and respected traveler and naturalist, set out to put together as complete a study as possible of the western territories of the United States. The result was the publication of Maximilian's journals in successive German, French, and English editions between 1839 and 1844, and with it, a picture atlas of eighty-one aquatint engravings of Bodmer's watercolor paintings. The images presented the peoples of the Manadan, Cree, Sioux, Blackfoot, Minnataree, Assiniboin, and Gros Ventres tribes. The images are beautifully rendered landscapes, portraits, and scenes of Indian life which are now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and memorable visual surveys of the western territories ever made. Bodmer's original watercolors are in the permanent collection of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. These aquatints are the only Bodmer images available to collectors.

This is the first reprint of H. Evans Lloyd's 1843 English translation of Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied's chronicle of his expedition in North America. It consists of three volumes of text and an atlas. Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied (1782-1867) was an explorer, ethnologist, and naturalist who had already explored Brazil by the time he embarked on his travels up the Missouri River in 1832. He was accompanied by the artist Karl Bodmer (1809-1893), whose aquatint engravings captured the culture of the Native Americans the party encountered along their journey. All 81 of those plates are reproduced in the atlas here, along with a fold-out map (28.1 x 14.5") that traces the route of the expedition. This reprint includes an appendix on Indian vocabularies that was missing from all previous translations, as well as a record of Indian sign language, a catalog of birds, and a summary of meteorological observations that were not in the London edition of 1843. All four volumes are hardbound in maroon cloth with gilt titling on spine. The pages of the three volumes of text are deckle edged and gilt on top. The measurement shown is for the atlas; the other volumes measure 6.5 x 9.7".

References: cf. Howes #M443a; Streeter #1809.

Condition: B+

The plates are clean and bright with a few sheets coming loose from the binding and several with short edge tears far from the images. The volumes have sunned spines, minor chips at the head and tail of the spines, and light overall shelf wear. The atlas volume also has a few chips along the cover edges.

Estimate: $700 - $900

Sold for: $450

Closed on 9/16/2015